Thursday, September 9, 2010

“Secret Origin of the Masked Ghost”

Secret Origins - Original vs Unique Characters

You didn’t really expect me to tell you the hero’s origin here did you? You’ll just have to keep reaching the chapters of “Revenge of the Masked Ghost” as I post them each week.

For those of you who aren’t following me on Twitter (@Kevinpsb00) or Facebook, I have begun writing a serialized novel which I am posting on my Facebook account entitled “Revenge of The Masked Ghost” You can find a link to it on the right side of this blog, as well as links to other important things in my online life. Check them all out.- - - > > >

‘Masked Ghost’, Ya, I know it’s not the most exciting name, but it says what it needs to. Like writer Mark Waid has admitted, I have a terrible time coming up with character names. Civilian names are actually easier to come up with than costumed nom de plumes. You try to come up with a really interesting name for a guy in a mask and tights that hasn’t been used a dozen times. At least this isn’t the 90’s when all I would have to do is find a way to use the words ‘Death’ or ‘Blood’. Only slightly a joke there.

I’m still proud of FLYING GLORY and her grandma I now call OL’GLORY.

Now on to the origin. Every kernel of a story idea isn’t always original. Especially if you want to tell a tale about mystery men and super heroes. Man puts on mask and fights crime, or avenges the murder of family members; whether he has super powers or just uses his fists, that’s basically it.

That character, his mask, tights, and cape, can be so much more than that depending on what the writer, and the artist, who brings him to life. What makes Peter Parker a great character? Is it his powers, or the death of his Uncle Ben teaching him to take responsibilities for his actions? The Fantastic Four are great team because they’re a family.

I could go on.

Each writer takes a shot at

Now I’m frightening myself, because there’s no way I can compare myself to the greatest writers of the last 75 years of super heroes. I wouldn’t dream of even trying.

The reason why I mention all is that I know at first glance the “Masked Ghost” will appear very familiar. I’ll admit that I really enjoy the original costumed mystery men like the Crimson Avenger, the Green Hornet, and the original Sandman. And my hero has the same type of business suit and fedora. Though he doesn’t have a stereotypical Asian sidekick like to of those did.

(Unimportant aside: The word ‘sidekick’ is in Word’s spell check. Did that word exist before the creation of masked heroes?)

I’ve wanted to write about one of these old style mysterious vigilante’s (realize that the term super hero wouldn’t come into existence for several years,) but didn’t want to do just any story. It had to have something unique about it.

Then about three weeks ago I had a thought; not about the hero himself but what would the family be like if they suddenly discovered he was a masked vigilante. That’s all I’ll tell you about that idea, except to say that from a single thought grew a whole concept. I first brain stormed for about a page, and then for three more pages I began to work out what the first story would be about. A day later I had worked out the beats for a 25 chapter long story. It grew quickly from there.

I don’t know everything about what’s going to happen to our hero and his family, and I know absolutely nothing about criminal he’s hunting. But it’s all coming together, and you will be discovering all his secrets as I do

So why this blog, besides promoting “Revenge of the Masked Ghost?” I want to tell all the new writers out there who want to get into comics and super heroes not to worry if your ideas aren’t a hundred percent original. Whether you get a chance to write for an existing mystery man (or woman) or create one of your own, make the story write come from your heart. That way your story will be unique and special. Make what’s been around for years new and make it your own. I’ve done that with Flying Glory, and hope I’m doing it with “The Masked Ghost.”

On a side note a ghost out of my own past showed up to haunt me last night…

Jordan Jennings (@JordanCJennings on Twitter) of CBO Productions did a review of the first issue of Image Comics SUPREME as part of his Field Guide To the Comic Book Bargain Bin series. He gives a very interesting look back at this character created by Rob Liefeld. What makes this a haunting to me is that comic was my very first professional job in the industry. I drew background and did color comps on several pages. I continued to work with Brian Murray on the next several issues of the series, and also did colors for other books as well. Thank you Jordan for reminding me of the great experiences I had.

Talk to you all next week.


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